Monday 27 July 2015


TSVI GORFINKEL (1893-December 1942)
            He was born in Riga, Latvia, into a family of middle class means.  He graduated from a Russian-Hebrew high school and studied the humanities and literature in Riga University.  In his youth, he became an active leader in the Zionist socialist movement, initially with Tseire-Tsiyon (Young Zionists) and later with the Labor Zionist Party.  He lived in Riga until WWII.  He was the head of a Jewish public school, a community activist, and reciter, especially, of the works of Sholem-Aleykhem.  He was a member of the managing committee of Jewish commercial employees.  He contributed pieces in Riga to Frimorgn (Morning), Unzer veg (Our way), and Der veg (The way), which published his articles concerning literature and educational issues.  During the period when the Soviets occupied Latvia, he and the other prominent Jews in the city were harshly persecuted for their Zionist views.  In the middle of June 1941, during the major round-ups, he was sent to the camp at Komi (near the North Pole), and he suffered terribly there.  In October 1942 he was freed because he was no longer able to work.  He settled in Syktyvkar, and there died after considerable suffering.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), pp. 6, 260; Meyer Gerts, 25 yor yidishe prese in letland (25 years of the Yiddish press in Latvia) (Riga, 1933); Yahadut latviya (Latvian Jewry) (Tel Aviv, 1953), see index.

Khayim Leyb Fuks

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